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Jan 7, 2015 11:13 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Two Southampton Town Board Members Want To Forgo Their 2015 Raises

Jan 7, 2015 11:32 AM

Continuing their protest against new salary schedules for non-union town employees, Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera and Councilman Stan Glinka this week asked that the $2,000 salary increases they were each given in the 2015 budget be removed and the money put back into general fund accounts.

Ms. Scalera, echoed by Mr. Glinka, said that she would like her salary amended, from the $62,000 in the adopted budget, back to its 2014 level of $60,000.

At the request of Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, the board then tabled a vote on the salaries to be paid to each of the five board members, until a meeting on Tuesday, January 13, so that she could consider what the implications of giving up the salary hikes would be. The amendments offered by Mr. Glinka and Ms. Scalera would not affect the salaries of the other board members.

“It’s political,” Councilman Brad Bender quipped, when Ms. Fleming said she wanted to think about what the amendments meant.

“It’s not political—it’s a matter of principle,” Ms. Scalera replied.

Ms. Scalera and Mr. Glinka, both Republicans, had voted against the $88.6 million 2015 budget in November on the basis of their objections to a number of its proposals, most having to do with staffing and salaries.

Ms. Scalera had objected, in particular, to a proposal by Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst to set up a salary schedule similar to that used in Civil Service union contracts, as a basis for awarding regular pay increases to non-union employees. The supervisor said that the so-called “salary matrix” would bring long-overdue predictability and fairness to the compensation of non-union staff. Ms. Scalera said it would drive up payroll costs and unnecessarily denude department heads of the ability to offer raises as a reward for good work. She had also objected to the $2,000 salary hikes proposed in the budget for all four Town Board members and the supervisor. The supervisor’s base salary was $102,000 in 2014 and $104,040 in the 2015 budget.

The four council members also receive about $35,000 in annual benefits, and the supervisor nearly $50,000, in the 2015 budget.

Ms. Scalera noted that the amendments to the payroll they proposed at their meeting on Tuesday would not change the salaries budgeted for the two Town Board seats they hold, only the actual pay issued for them individually in this calendar year.

Ms. Scalera said that Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio has declined the annual salary hikes given to council members in that town for several years.

Despite Ms. Fleming’s desire to give the issue additional consideration, the other board members showed no inclination to forgo the salary increases.

“Personally, this is my only job, and this is the salary that I live on,” Mr. Bender said, though he raised no objection to the other council members’ request. “If Stan and Christine want to forgo it, I have no problem with it. I would rather that you took the money and gave it to a charity.”

The town’s general fund currently has a more than $28 million reserve balance.

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stupid-save $2000 on a $88m budget
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Jan 7, 15 3:28 PM
It's start!
By Frank Wheeler (1823), Northampton on Jan 7, 15 3:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Agree it is a very small savings however this was personal. My question is why councilwoman Fleming never seems to be ready for the meetings. It's always, I didn't see this, I didn't know about this, what is this about. I know the job is part time but please review and ask about the intended resolutions before hand.
By Resident tax (183), Hampton bays ny on Jan 7, 15 3:52 PM
If you look at the video, this wasn't a resolution by Christine and Stan. It was a surprise. I find Fleming to be hardworking and knowledgeable.
By Justsay'n (42), Southampton on Jan 7, 15 6:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
Looked at the video, a resolution for the whole board with an amendment request at the last minute,yes. No reason to table such a resolution, and this is not the first time ms Fleming was not aware, as she states, as to what is brought forward at the board meetings.
By Resident tax (183), Hampton bays ny on Jan 7, 15 7:13 PM
Don't be silly, grab the modest salary increase! It's hard work.
By Zorro (66), Southampton on Jan 8, 15 1:32 AM
Rank political grandstanding, in amounts so small as to have negligible effect on the budget. It's ironic that this comes from Christine Scalera, who earlier this year accused Bridget Fleming of political grandstanding when Ms. Fleming introduced an ethics reform measure prohibiting political committee members from sitting on the appointed land use boards.

The distinction, of course, is that Ms. Fleming's ethics resolution would have made a difference, whereas this picayune salary reduction ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Jan 8, 15 11:32 AM
2 members liked this comment
George, while I understand your partisan desire to undercut Ms. Scalera's motives in wishing to decline the budgeted $2,000.00 salary increase, I find it some what petty to decide that the weight of matters of principle are measured in their monetary values.

At a time when it is incumbent upon the Supervisor and Board Members to request give backs from union employees to avoid having to cut services to our taxpayers, it is hardly political grandstanding to wish to lead by example.

The ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 9, 15 8:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
I don't know what Ms. Throne-Holst learned at Columbia but they certainly should not be recognized for their Human Resource/Labor Relations guidance. Scalera is absolutely right. Collective Bargaining agreements have never adequately addressed performance. Seniority or tenure winds up being the key contributor for earnings. Non-represented do not have a collective bargaining agent to do their bidding. Nor do they want to be judged along with everyone else. Performance has an opportunity to be recognized ...more
By fact (25), east hampton on Jan 8, 15 4:14 PM
In much the same way that we here in Southampton embrace stemming the tide of cosmopolitan and suburban encroachment (i.e. no to big box stores, no to new development in commercial cores - most of the time - while farm fields get plowed under for more 8,000 sq. foot homes with views of the 5 acre preserve that the CPF paid $3mm for) we should embrace stemming the tide of bureaucracy and the organizations that promote it. Hence we should be striving to construct a town governance structure that ...more
By circaWHB (9), Westhampton Beach on Jan 9, 15 10:11 AM
i commend Scalera for standing by her convictions, she said it best at the meeting, this is a matter of principal. She voted down the budget and stuck by her vote by voting down the salary increases and also by choosing to give back her raise that she did not support in the first place.
By hamptons34 (30), Westhampton on Jan 11, 15 2:59 PM
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